Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mindful In May - The (Nearly) Halfway Mark

The gorgeous Mindful in May Challenge is at Day 11 and I thought it was time to take stock a little.  To have a look at what I've achieved, what I've struggled with and what I've learned so far on the path.

And it's because I have found this experience to be such a beautiful, challenging and somewhat intense one that I need to expand, to unpack at this point.

Here's the thing.  I had heard of Mindful In May.  It made a small ripple across my consciousness last year.  And then I saw a little something about it this year.  I wrote it down, put it on my list of things to look into further and then forgot about it.  It is possible, even likely that it would have stayed on this list and nothing more would have been done about it.

Then this happened.  And when I went to the launch I knew I had to commit.  That's what it does to you, being in a room of people who are truly trying to live their best lives and be their best selves.  It inspires.  It motivates.

I went home that very night and signed up.  Of course I did.  How could I not?

I felt positive.  I felt enthusiastic.  I felt eager to start.  And I felt a little bit like, this is going to be a cinch.  Ten minutes of meditation a day.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

And so as I committed to Mindful In May I committed to some personal goals too.  Mindful eating! Mindful shopping! Mindful interactions with others!

And it wasn't until I actually started the challenge that I realised that to be truly mindful of these things is a huge task.  Massive. And in realising this, I learned how not mindful I am in my day to day life.  This is humbling.  And overwhelming.

When it comes to mindful eating, one MIMster posted on Twitter that she was going to eat one mindful meal day for the duration of the challenge.  And it made me think.  What does it really mean to eat mindfully.  To really sit with your food.  Looking at, smelling, tasting and chewing it.  Noticing it, maybe even being thankful for it.

When I tried to do it, I revealed to myself just how distracted I usually am when I eat.  On one occasion I realised that while I was eating I wasn't actually hungry, and I wasn't even enjoying the food.  Just how many time have I eaten meals that I didn't need and didn't even enjoy in my lifetime?

In terms of mindful shopping.  Well this is a tale of complete and utter overwhelm.  I found this amazing website that lists goods and rates them on the basis of human rights and environmental issues.  It's a great resource.  But once it hit me that absolutely everything I put in my trolley each week has an impact on the planet, a real tangible impact, and often a negative one at that - it was completely overwhelming.  I kind of didn't know what to do with all that information.  I was spinning.  I still am.

I did better, much better with mindful interaction.  Because with this I wasn't starting from scratch.  It has been a few years now that I have been consciously focussing on how I talk to and interact with others, especially my children.  So this one at least while not a breeze, was at least not a surprise.  I knew what to expect here.  I knew how it would feel and what it would take. And I knew that it is a process and not an instant fix. 

Being Mindful In May definitely helped.  Because in being focused on my daily meditation it has kept me focused on the other tasks at hand.

So this challenge, even at only Day 11 has taught me so much.

Mainly a lesson that I keep needing to learn over and over again.  That perfection is the enemy of good.

Mindful in May has taught me in a very real way that while I may not be able to shop, eat, interact or even meditate perfectly, I can find ten minutes (and sometimes more!) every single day to mindfully sit.

And that is a start. 

If you feel so inclined you can sponsor me in my Mindful In May Challenge here.  Just $30 provides water for one person - for LIFE! Wow.

Are you being Mindful In May?